All About the Breed Alp Mastiff

Have you recently fallen for the Alp Mastiff or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known as the Patua Mastiff and the Cane Garouf, the Alp Mastiff is a gentle and protective breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Alp Mastiff can be traced back to 16th century Italy. Enthusiasts believe the breed to have taken part in the creation of such breeds as the Saint Bernard and the Bullmastiff, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Alp Mastiff has been most commonly used for protecting cattle from predators such as wolves and wild cats, and as a watch and guard dog, proving its superior abilities to protect and work while providing companionship.

While the exact history of the reduction of specimens of the Alp Mastiff has not been well documented, it is widely stated that the combination of modernization in farming and various plagues is to blame for the state of the breed.

Today, the Alp Mastiff remains extremely rare outside of Europe and is in great danger of extinction. It is estimated that as few as 20 breed-able specimens still exist.

Personality Traits

Best known for its devoted and protective nature, the Alp Mastiff is willing to do anything necessary in order to protect its owner and territory. These dogs are very gentle towards their owner and loved ones, and thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans. The Alp Mastiff is very intelligent, yet stubborn, dominant, and independent, creating difficulty in training. As a pet, the Alp Mastiff is loyal, loving, and affectionate. This breed enjoys spending time outdoors and going for long walks.


Due to its stubborn, dominant, and independent attitude, the Alp Mastiff can prove challenging to train. These dogs are known for growing bored with repetitive exercises, and being somewhat of a know-it-all.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the Alp Mastiff. This breed requires an experienced, stern, confident, and strong handler with a stern and serious approach.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning an Alp Mastiff, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. These active dogs are often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. When properly socialized from a young age, the Alp Mastiff gets along well with children and other pets, often making friends quickly, and known for its gentle and sweet approach to small children. The Alp Mastiff is fiercely loyal, protective, and dominant, making an amazing watch and guard dog, announcing the arrival of guests and unwanted visitors, and serving as a deterrent to would-be intruders. This breed is loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning an Alp Mastiff. This energetic and athletic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play outdoors. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. An Alp Mastiff not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

Proper obedience training and socialization is absolutely required with this breed. While the Alp Mastiff is generally a gentle and loving breed, the sheer size of these dogs can be intimidating to some. A poorly trained specimen may become overly aggressive towards strangers and other animals.

As previously mentioned, the Alp Mastiff remains extremely rare outside of its native Italy and can prove very difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, exceedingly high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Alp Mastiff is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, congenital heart defects, skin sensitivity and allergies, obesity, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own an Alp Mastiff? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.